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How Adobe PhoneGap Technology Has Benefited Cross Platform Apps

Published on 02 May 17
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As mobile phones and technology continue to grow at a fast clip, there is a great deal of discussion around the ideal framework for mobile app development. Opinion is divided about the benefits of various approaches - native and hybrid for cross-platform development. To understand the specific advantages of each, one must first understand what each framework means.

Native apps are programmed for specific platforms, so they can interact with and take advantage of operating system features and other software that is typically installed on that platform. Java is the programming language for Android apps, and Objective C and Swift the native languages for iPhone.

Hybrid apps are essentially web apps developed using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. These apps are wrapped in a native container such as Adobe PhoneGap (also known as Apache Cordova). The advantage of hybrid apps is a consistent, cross platform UI that is compatible with most devices. Hybrid framework is also relatively less expensive but cannot be used for every type of app.
How Adobe PhoneGap Technology Has Benefited Cross Platform Apps - Image 1
Apps created with either native or hybrid technologies can be marketed through the various app stores. As with all technology offerings, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Let’s run through some of the pros and cons of using hybrid framework like PhoneGap vis-à-vis native apps.
Benefits:

1) Portability:
One of the salient features that PhoneGap is recommended for is the portability. This means that an app developed for iOS can be ported easily to other OS like Windows mobile or Android by simply transferring the code.

2) Strong And Robust Framework
PhoneGap is an open source distribution of Cordova (from Apache Cordova). It provides the benefits of a robust technology created by a diverse team of experts along with a strong developer community – plus access to PhoneGap toolset.

3) Reuse Exist Skillset And Technology
With PhoneGap any web developer can program mobile apps by writing HTML, CSS and JavaScript code. Once uploaded to the PhoneGap build service, PhoneGap delivers app-store ready apps for various platforms. Developers can avoid maintaining native SDKs for each platform because PhoneGap’s Build service takes care of it by compiling in the cloud.

4) Tapping Into The Device’s Hardware
While PhoneGap is hybrid, it has native capabilities because it can tap into the device hardware such as camera, geo locator, accelerometer etc. PhoneGap apps can use the native resources without compromising on user experience.

5) Development Cost And Time
Hybrid apps built using PhoneGap take minimal time and effort. The cost of development is relatively low compared to native apps. Since PhoneGap only requires maintaining a single code-base, you also save on additional resources for each platform.

Disadvantages:

1) It is not highly customizable and doesn’t support all functionalities
2) UX may not be native: One of the complaints about hybrid apps is you need to be vigilant with your app’s UI and UX or the app may not look and feel like a native app.
3) The performance of hybrid apps may be a little sluggish when compared to native apps.

Conclusion:
There are certain use cases for which hybrid solutions like PhoneGap make perfect sense. If the app requirement is simple, doesn’t rely heavily on animations or pace, has a small budget and has a faster release schedule, then PhoneGap is just the ticket. However, if a highly native UI/UX, performance and complex application is required then native apps might be the answer. Then again, PhoneGap has to its credit some renowned names like LinkedIn and Wikipedia mobile apps.

With the popularity for cross-platform apps on the rise, you may want to hire a PhoneGap developer for your next app development project. Have you built any mobile apps using hybrid frameworks previously? What has been your experience? We would like to hear your feedback in the comments below.
As mobile phones and technology continue to grow at a fast clip, there is a great deal of discussion around the ideal framework for mobile app development. Opinion is divided about the benefits of various approaches - native and hybrid for cross-platform development. To understand the specific advantages of each, one must first understand what each framework means.

Native apps are programmed for specific platforms, so they can interact with and take advantage of operating system features and other software that is typically installed on that platform. Java is the programming language for Android apps, and Objective C and Swift the native languages for iPhone.

Hybrid apps are essentially web apps developed using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. These apps are wrapped in a native container such as Adobe PhoneGap (also known as Apache Cordova). The advantage of hybrid apps is a consistent, cross platform UI that is compatible with most devices. Hybrid framework is also relatively less expensive but cannot be used for every type of app.

How Adobe PhoneGap Technology Has Benefited Cross Platform Apps - Image 1

Apps created with either native or hybrid technologies can be marketed through the various app stores. As with all technology offerings, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Let’s run through some of the pros and cons of using hybrid framework like PhoneGap vis-à-vis native apps.

Benefits:




1) Portability:

One of the salient features that PhoneGap is recommended for is the portability. This means that an app developed for iOS can be ported easily to other OS like Windows mobile or Android by simply transferring the code.

2) Strong And Robust Framework

PhoneGap is an open source distribution of Cordova (from Apache Cordova). It provides the benefits of a robust technology created by a diverse team of experts along with a strong developer community – plus access to PhoneGap toolset.

3) Reuse Exist Skillset And Technology

With PhoneGap any web developer can program mobile apps by writing HTML, CSS and JavaScript code. Once uploaded to the PhoneGap build service, PhoneGap delivers app-store ready apps for various platforms. Developers can avoid maintaining native SDKs for each platform because PhoneGap’s Build service takes care of it by compiling in the cloud.

4) Tapping Into The Device’s Hardware

While PhoneGap is hybrid, it has native capabilities because it can tap into the device hardware such as camera, geo locator, accelerometer etc. PhoneGap apps can use the native resources without compromising on user experience.

5) Development Cost And Time

Hybrid apps built using PhoneGap take minimal time and effort. The cost of development is relatively low compared to native apps. Since PhoneGap only requires maintaining a single code-base, you also save on additional resources for each platform.

Disadvantages:




1) It is not highly customizable and doesn’t support all functionalities

2) UX may not be native: One of the complaints about hybrid apps is you need to be vigilant with your app’s UI and UX or the app may not look and feel like a native app.

3) The performance of hybrid apps may be a little sluggish when compared to native apps.

Conclusion:

There are certain use cases for which hybrid solutions like PhoneGap make perfect sense. If the app requirement is simple, doesn’t rely heavily on animations or pace, has a small budget and has a faster release schedule, then PhoneGap is just the ticket. However, if a highly native UI/UX, performance and complex application is required then native apps might be the answer. Then again, PhoneGap has to its credit some renowned names like LinkedIn and Wikipedia mobile apps.

With the popularity for cross-platform apps on the rise, you may want to hire a PhoneGap developer for your next app development project. Have you built any mobile apps using hybrid frameworks previously? What has been your experience? We would like to hear your feedback in the comments below.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Mobility Community

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